Here's a pop quiz:
What do you call a person who constantly hears a story in her head; the sight of blank journals excites her; loves stationary stores; collects pens; reads nearly everything she can get her hands on; comes away from movies or beloved stories and promptly either carries on the story with her Barbie dolls or inserts herself into the storyline and acts it out?
Nope, not schizophrenic.
Nope, not insanity.
Chances are, this person is a future writer!
How many guessed the third? Good for you...but then again, you know me. Try explaining to a non-writer how one can carry on a conversation in one's head and put it on paper. Or why the thought of an empty house is cause for excitement, not depression.
Remember the sitcom Facts of Life? One of my favorite episodes is when Natalie is stranded at a cafe, and instead of whining about being bored, she whips out pen and paper and concocts a mystery involving the other customers and cast mates.
I received my first diary at age ten, and found it hard to confine the days' events to just one tiny page. Two years later, my 7th grade teacher passed out notebooks half the size of regular ones, and told us to write a journal entry every day. Soon I was filling the pages with thoughts, observations, and general teenage drama. I soon made a habit of carrying it everywhere, and the first drafts of some of my early fairy tales were in them. They were ripped out soon after and turned into the teacher.
The first book I ever wrote stemmed from a quiet day in Florida. I was sitting on a picnic table by the bay, when all of a sudden, I wondered what would happen if.....and soon I was writing away. I wrote nearly every spare hour during that vacation, and when I returned to school in the fall, I continued it, to see where it was going.
If I don't write, the words will nearly stuff my brain until I get a chance to sit down. In 2002, I was a bus monitor for seven weeks straight, with little time to write. A story was brewing, and the night after my last shift, I literally locked myself in the bedroom and proceeded to write for three days straight, barely taking the time to eat, sleep, and deal with the kids. At the end of those three days, I had sixty pages in longhand. I took a break; started typing it up....and the imagination took off again. I had the story written in about a month. And as I typed 'The End', I cried; my SU thought I'd lost my mind. To console me, he took me out to dinner.
So if you spot me in a bar somewhere scribbling away furiously into a notebook, don't worry. I don't work for the CIA and I'm not crazy. Just buy me a drink and leave me alone, unless you want to say hi and see what I'm working on. Chances are you'll get a sneak peek at my next wip.